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NARS Galion Nail Lacquer

NARS Galion Nail Lacquer
NARS Galion Nail Lacquer

NARS Fall 2011: Galion Nail Lacquer

NARS Galion Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “stormy grey.” It’s a rich, creamy navy-tinged, blackened gray. I achieved opaque color in just two coats, and there was no streaking, bubbling, or difficulty in applying the shade onto my nails. The formula flowed evenly without being too thick or thin. This shade looks really crisp on the nails, and despite my nails being too long, it still seems to work on me.  I typically get a week of wear with NARS’ nail polishes.

It’s a little bluer-based (but still very similar) to China Glaze Concrete Catwalk. The way it looks is reminiscent of Zoya Kelly, but they are not dupes–Kelly is much lighter but of the same hue.

NARS Nail Polish Galion
Galion
Galion
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
98%
Total

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Illamasqua Muse Nail Varnish


Illamasqua Muse Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Muse Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Muse Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep teal blue.” It’s exactly that–at first glance, it’s more blue than teal, but it’s not just blue. There’s teal, blue, and enough depth to call it deep. The finish is creamy, and the color is opaque in two coats (but nearly opaque in just one). I had an easy time with the formula, because it wasn’t too thick or thin, so the lacquer flowed evenly across the nail and didn’t bubble. I typically get a week’s worth of wear out of Illamasqua’s nail polishes.

It reminded me of Cult Nails Let Me Fly without the shimmer. It was a little bluer and darker than Orly Viridian. It is darker compared to Butter London Artful Dodger.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Muse
Muse
Muse
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
99%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Jo'mina Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as an “electric lilac.” It’s a bright lilac purple with a hint of pastel lilac but closer to a light-medium purple with subtle pink-red undertones. It’s opaque in two coats for me, and I didn’t have any issues with the formula–it was creamy without being thick, so it spread evenly across the nail. Despite some of the pastel-feel of this color, I didn’t encounter any streakiness during application.

With a warmer skin tone, I often find that lilacs and pastel-like purples do not work on my skin tone, but I like Jo’mina a lot, and I think it’s the underlying redness around the edges that makes it more complementary against my particular skin tone.  I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one–NARS Pokerface is much, much lighter and pinker, while Nubar Treasure has such a different finish that they don’t end up looking very similar.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Jo'mina
Jo'mina
Jo'mina
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
94%
Total

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China Glaze Metro (Downtown) Collection


China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Concrete Catwalk, Loft-y Ambitions, Midtown Magic

China Glaze Metro Collection: Downtown

China Glaze Downtown Collection ($2.99 to $5.99, depending on retailer, for 0.5 fl. oz.) contains six shades: Concrete Catwalk (steel grey crème), Loft-y Ambitions (burgundy shimmer), Midtown Magic (burgundy base with flecks of gold shimmer), Skyscraper (sparkling, glitter blue), Trendsetter (mustard yellow shimmer), and Westside Warrior (camo green crème).

  • Concrete Catwalk is a dark gray cream that was opaque in two coats. Zoya Kelly was the closest I could think of, but it is very blue-based, so it looks different when worn.
  • Loft-y Ambitions is a deep, burgundy with very subtle micro-shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised with shimmer, and perhaps, a touch cooler-toned.
  • Midtown Magic is a blackened, chocolate brown with multi-colored shimmer that is dominated by gold and copper. I used two coats for opaque color. It looks a lot like Dior Czarina Gold.
  • Skyscraper is a translucent blue-violet color base with lots of silver glitter. I used two coats in swatches, and it was mostly opaque. I couldn’t think of any dupes from shades I’ve reviewed in the past.
  • Trendsetter is a mustard yellow with a hint of chartreuse in it, accompanied by a gold shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s bolder and yellower compared to MAC In the Buff–actually, it reminded me of Sun Blonde eyeshadow initially.
  • Westside Warrior is a dusty army green with a cream finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s greener (and less yellow) compared to Rescue Beauty Lounge No More War and Zoya Dree.

The glittery shade (Skyscraper) will be difficult to remove, like any other glitter-based polish, if worn alone and as densely as shown in the swatches, so I recommend soaking a piece of felt in remover and pressing against the nail for 15-20 seconds, then pull to remove. The creams and shimmers will be much easier, as is the norm. Like Uptown, these had a good formula with nothing being too thick or thin. The polish spread evenly without streaking and drying time was about average. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for base/top coats for all swatches. I typically get a week of wear with China Glaze’s polishes.

China Glaze Metro (Downtown) Collection

A
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
96%
Total

China Glaze Metro (Uptown) Collection


China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Brownstone, CG in the City, City Siren

China Glaze Metro Collection: Uptown

China Glaze Uptown Collection ($2.99 to $5.99, depending on retailer, for 0.5 fl. oz.) contains six shades: Brownstone (burnt terracotta crème), CG in the City (glittering dusty purple, bronze and silver multi-tonal glitter), City Siren (deep, red crème), Street Chic (gorgeous beige crème), Traffic Jam (raspberry pink crème), and Urban-Night (rich purple crème).

  • Brownstone is a browned red cream. It was opaque in two coats, but one was quite dense in color. It’s darker and less brown compared to MAC Sly as a Fox and Nubar Sateen. Chanel Fatale and Essie Limited Addiction are redder and not as dark.
  • CG in the City contains light purple, purple, bronze, and silver glitter suspended in a clear base. I used three coats for swatches, so you can see how opaque it gets (not entirely). Given the clear base, I imagine it’s meant more for layering than as a standalone product. Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista is denser and the particles are larger–plus it’s silver and fuchsia, so they’re not really similar in color either, but it was the closest I could think of.
  • City Siren is a deep, red cream with a subtle blue base. I used two coats, but one was nearly opaque. It’s cooler in tone and looks more red than Chanel Fatale and Essie Limited Addiction.
  • Street Chic is a grayed, mushroom brown cream. It was opaque in two coats. Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous is similar in base color, but it has shimmer and a cooler undertone. Both NARS Bad Influence and Nubar Chiffon are grayer, more taupe than brown.
  • Traffic Jam is a raspberry cream that is opaque in two coats. This is like a juicy raspberry jelly to me (obviously, jam is on the brain from the name!). The color reminds me of the base color of Cult Nails Iconic but Traffic Jam is slightly more berry than red. I think Zoya Ciara may be similar, but I don’t have a photo to compare it to.
  • Urban-Night is a darkened eggplant purple with a cream finish. This was opaque in two coats. It seems similar to Orly Plum Noir. Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche is much darker and less red-toned.

With the exception of CG in the City (which is a glitter in a clear base), I only needed two coats for opaque color coverage. I typically get a week of wear out of China Glaze’s formulas, both for creams and glitters. The glitter will be difficult to remove, like any other glitter-based polish, if worn alone and as densely as shown in the swatches, so I recommend soaking a piece of felt in remover and pressing against the nail for 15-20 seconds, then pull to remove. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for base/top coats for all swatches.

The formula of the five creams here was good overall. Street Chic was a touch thick, while the others were thinner without being watery. The polish spread evenly without streaking and drying time was about average.

China Glaze Metro (Uptown) Collection

A-
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
92%
Total

Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer

Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer
Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer

Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer

Butter London Thames Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is described as a “soft, blue-green stunner with just a tiny undercurrent of gold.” It’s a rich, luxurious green-teal with subtle shimmer. I didn’t get a lot of gold shimmer, as it seemed more white/silver to me (even in bright light). I was able to achieve opaque color in two coats. The formula was easy to work with, because it wasn’t too thick or thin, flowed evenly across the nail, and didn’t streak. There were a few brush strokes in the resulting look, but they were very subtle.  I typically get a week of wear with Butter London’s formula with a proper base and top coat.

The color reminded me of the shimmer in MAC Jade Dragon (which has a very inky green-tinged black base). Duri Paparazzi is the closest dupe I found from my past swatches, but it is much greener (not really a teal at all).

Butter London Nail Lacquer Thames
Thames
Thames
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
96%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

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